What Does It Mean To Be A Hippie These Days?

Flower Power

This is my first blog post on the hippie blog besides the ‘about’ page … I started there. I thought I’d start with something easy – my feelings on being a hippie in a non-hippie world. This posting may meander around a bit.

It was easier in the sixties – people were either hippie or square, for the most part. Of course most were what we called squares. Remember that? A square was a person who was enmeshed in the conventional culture we were breaking free from. We didn’t want the world of expectations. We didn’t want their war. We didn’t want to be put in a box… not that kind of box, and not a set of societal expectations of what we should do and what we should be like. We wanted out!

Timothy Leary offered us a happier solution: “Tune in, turn on, drop out!”

It sounded good to me at the time and I still like it! Though I’ve got to admit I prefer straight consciousness.

Now, when I speak of hippies, I don’t want to speak for anyone but myself. It wouldn’t be fair to. Hippies have been categorized, minimized, and stigmatized. People seem to think we were all alike and that is so far from the truth. Being a hippie was always about being yourself and allowing yourself to be unconventional in your expression of yourself. But that works only for some of us. Honestly, it only works to an extent, because as humans we long for community, and when we bond together in community we pick up similar habits unconsciously.

The hippies I knew in the Haight Ashbury were not uniformly made. They didn’t all wear headbands, have long hair, smoke dope, and have free-love orgies. Probably some did… but most didn’t. Being a hippie probably meant something different to each person. For myself it started with being a flower child. I was a teenager, wore flowers in my hair, dressed in flower fabrics, wore love beads, and tried to cope with teenage life which in my case was miserable in many ways. I’d say the most miserable part about it was that I had a controlling mother who wanted me to conform to decent normalcy… and I couldn’t – I was so ready to break out of the box and have some fun!

These days, my feelings about being a hippie are so much different. Yes, I still consider myself a hippie. I know many who were hippies have gone on to be yuppies, fine upstanding citizens, scientists, lawyers, and more responsible human beings. My life has gone through phases of trying to be like that, but today I recognize and realize that I am still a hippie.

I am a creative person. I have an unconventional spirituality. I care more about art than about collecting sports cars.

I live in a cabin in the mountains, close to the earth with a garden outside my window here. Not in a city, not working in a high-rise office building. In fact, I don’t work outside my home at all.

I have an easel. I don’t have a day-job.

I’ve managed to find an unconventional life style that works for me and doesn’t force me to go out into the workforce pretending to be something or someone I really don’t want to be.

So, that’s enough for now. I will come back about once a week to add to this hippie blog. My topics will be hippie lifestyles, hippie history, memoirs about my own hippie memories, hippie fiction if I feel like writing it… hippie art too, who knows?

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